Musical Empowerment (ME) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a headquarters in Carrboro, NC. ME’s foundational programs are the Music Mentorship Program (MMP) and the Instrument Lending Program (ILP).
Music Mentorship Program
At the beginning of the school year, social workers in public elementary and middle schools refer students in need to the MMP. These students are then paired with collegiate mentors who volunteer to teach them a 40-minute, one-on-one music lesson per week throughout the school year. Lessons are held at a local church or school. Students can continue taking lessons in the program through high school. Pairings are made based on time availability, language spoken, and musical ability. All students perform in a recital at the end of each semester to showcase what they have learned. Our volunteer teachers attend an initial training, and then continue to develop their teaching and mentoring abilities through monthly teacher support group meetings and attending workshops run by professional educators each semester.
Instrument Lending Program
In 2010, the ME Student Leadership Team developed an idea to start the ILP to eliminate the final barrier preventing low-income students from participating in the program. After collecting donated instruments and purchasing instruments with money raised from grants and a benefit concert, the ILP launched officially in 2012. The ILP allows children in the program to borrow an instrument free of charge for practice and performance during the school year and over the summer. To encourage their passion for music, after students have committed to ME for three years, they have the opportunity to permanently keep their instrument.
Why Music Mentorship?
By sharing the gift of music and by using positive reinforcement, college students become role models who nurture pride and instill self-confidence in their mentees. This relationship is mutually beneficial for both teachers and children enrolled in the program. Kids learn how to play an instrument, read music, and perform, through which they learn the value of becoming a contributing member of their local community and develop discipline, responsibility, patience and confidence. Teachers learn how to develop a curriculum for effective music lessons, how to communicate with children and parents, how to be encouraging and supportive mentors, and how to actively enable their students to succeed.
For a comprehensive organization history, click here.